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Grgich Hills Estate is a winery with quite a pedigree. It’s co-founder Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition, some forty years ago, at the famous “Paris Tasting” of 1976 with the Chardonnay he crafted for Chateau Montelena. And since 1977, when Mike, his sister Mary Lee Strebl , and Austin Hills brought Grigch Hills into existence, they’ve crafted first-class wines, with a particular focus on their signature variety, Chardonnay. Here’s what our tasting panel thought about a selection of their current offerings:

2012 CHCN, MS

Grgich Hills 2012 “Miljeno’s Section”Chardonnay

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Region: Napa Valley, Ca

Price: 55-60

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of apples, citrus fruits, and spring flowers greets the senses. The palate reveals flavors of apple, lemon, and crisp pear with accents of orange blossoms and minerals. A bright white with a fresh acidity and welcoming flavors, it’s a fine example of California Chardonnay without all the heavy oak flavors. 650 cases produced.

Rating: 91

12PTCH_small

Grgich Hills 2012 “Paris Tasting Commemorative”Chardonnay

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Region: Napa Valley, Ca

Price: 90-95

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of lemon and tangerine meld with suggestions of fresh bread, floral perfume, and pistachios on the nose. Flavors of Meyer lemon, Asian pear, and lime combine with toasted nuts and white blossoms on the palate. A vibrant Chardonnay with a fresh acidity, it would make a lovely pairing with sole in a creamy sauce. 632 cases were made.

Rating: 90

CH2012-FRONT

Grgich Hills 2012 Chardonnay

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Region: Napa Valley, Ca

Price: 40-45

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of apple, pear, melon and roasted nuts rise up from a glass. On the palate, flavors of green apple and pear emerge alongside hints of honey, minerals, and pistachios. A lively white, offering a brisk acidity, fans of crisp Chardonnay ought to try this wine. 30, 832 cases produced.

Rating: 88

CS-2012-FRONT_750-ALC

Grgich Hills 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 86% Cabernet, 7.5% Merlot, & 6.5% Petit Verdot

Region: Napa Valley, Ca

Price: 55-60

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of blackberries and cherry mingle with notes of spice, bell pepper, and violets on the nose. A sip reveals flavors of bramble fruit and black cherry with accents of white pepper, fresh herbs, and floral earth. Supple tannins and hearty flavors make this wine an excellent candidate to pair with your favorite lamb dish. 16,601 cases were made.

Rating: 89